beauty lies within

expressing self by creating

a little glimpse December 31, 2008

I can’t believe 2008 is almost over.  I don’t think it went by fast, but it sure was a busy year to say the least.  I reflected a little yesterday and reminded myself how thankful I am. 

I was browsing through my Christmas pics and instantly fell in love with this image.  It is peaceful, warm, and welcoming and became my favorite spot in my home this past month.  Standing 10 feet tall, this years tree was my favorite (but I say that every year).


I always look forward to January.  I love birthdays….and I still enjoy celebrating my own lol.  My little Ethan will be turning the big “5” on the 10th.  That’s a big one right?  School is right around the corner.  I even stated to John yesterday that Ethan’s looks are changing.  I have a nice party planned already and have been asking what he wants for his birthday (I’ll just continue my search for some items I couldn’t find during the holidays).  With a party fast approaching, I have to send out invites tomorrow.   Here is what the guests will receive soon.


One of my favorite card samples in the current SU! catalog is on pg. 113.  I used the card as my inspiration for Ethan’s invites (and had to change some things up a bit).  I have NO NUMBER STAMPS…gasp!  So, The main circle works well with the word “five” spelled out.  The number 5 on the three smaller circles is actually from the Dec. 25 stamp from the set Winter Post.   This is a time consuming invite, but I only had to make 10 total.

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments and support over this past year.  Happy New Year!!!


STAMPS:  Party Hearty, Jumbo Outline Alphabet, Winter Post, Classic Background, and Nursery Necessities.

CARDSTOCK:  Pacific Point, Kiwi Kiss, Real Red, More Mustard, Bashful Blue, and Whisper White.

INKS:  Pacific Point, Kiwi Kiss, Real Red, and More Mustard.

ACCESSORIES:  Pacific Point 5/8″ Striped Grosgrain Ribbon; Punches Plus Classy Brass Template; Silver Elastic Cord; Silver Eyelet; Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware; Crafters’ Tool Kit; Scallop Edge Punch; Star and Large Star Punches; 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1-1/4″, 1-3/8″, and 1-3/4″ Circle Punches.


Hello! Hello! December 20, 2008

I know I’ve been missing in action lately.  Not to bore with all my excuses, I thought I would share with you 3 cards I made yesterday and a few updates.

About me, I’ve been creating with many deadlines, and unfortunately, I can’t share those items.  Some items can be viewed though.  For this month, if you are a member of splitcoaststampers, you can view the Dirty Dozen December Fan Club Gallery titled Obscure Holidays.  Hop on over and take a look at all of the amazing samples.   If you are attending SU! Leadership in January, you will be able to see some samples created by me (you will even see some pics of me *wink*). 

I also got all of my hair chopped off lol.  It is extremely short and I’m still adjusting….and hesitant to share a pic just yet.  I had 12 inches cut off and it has all been donated to Locks of Love.

About the cards…These are being mailed out today to 3 fellow stampers who I’m so thankful for having as friends. 

The first card is all SU! created with a Handmade Holiday Simply Sent Card Elements Kit and a few other accessories. 


I added some Very Vanilla Satin Ribbon, Alpine Cord, Antique Brass Jumbo Eyelet and brads.  Big Shot and Top Note Die used in background.  Punches used: Small and Large Oval, Scallop Edge Punch, and 1/4″ Circle Punch.  Image was stamped in Mellow Moss ink on Very Vanilla Cardstock.  Sentiments stamped in Ruby Red.  The kit is so worth it.  I whipped a couple of these cards out in no time.

The next card is so stinkin’ cute.  As a way to show you to think outside the box with some of your images, this set from Our Craft Lounge, Tree-Mendous Love, is love/Valentine’s related.  I wanted to create a card appropriate for the season…and this is what I came up with.  I hope she likes it:)


Cute right?  I used an assortment of punches to create the top of the tree.  Added some Chunky Glitter on Whisper White CS to create the snow.  I used one of the little heart stamps from the set and created heart snowflakes in the background.   

The next card is a special surprise thank you for a dear friend of mine.  I used CHF Hugs and Kisses set from Kim Hughes Collection.  Another super adorable set.  I am a fan of this line.  Such cute images.


Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful Holiday Season!!!


Beate’s weekend sketch challenge #66 November 14, 2008

So much to chat about this morning (that’s what happens when I don’t post that often). 

My Hubby, John, is definitely my inspiration for Beate’s wsc.  He made me so proud yesterday.  Some of you are aware that I have a Saint Bernard named “Bailey Bear”.  He turns 6 years old tomorrow…so that means he had his yearly check up yesterday.  With every Vet visit, I get a stress-induced migraine.  It is such a pain and major task to take him to the Vet.  I drive an Excursion, so that means get out a ramp; He’s aggressive towards other animals, so that means last visit of the day; We have to wait till the area is clear of other animals so we can sneak him in the back door of their office.  Ughhhh!  I have taken him every year without Johns help and that means trying to restrain a 170 pound dog with my little Ethan.  I had my whole families support yesterday and they all came with me…John did all the restraining.  I was smiling from ear to ear and was migraine-free. 

Here is what I placed on his car dashboard this morning:


What do you think?  I took a Valentine’s set (SU! Happy Hearts) and put a masculine spin on it.  And so glad I did because I didn’t want to wait till January to start inking up this super cute stamp set.  I just love this card (I may have to sneak it back into my possession after he looks at it lol). 

Here is the inside of the card:


Ready for more pet problems?  I don’t think I have shared this info yet.  If you are a Stampin’ Up! Demo, you may have seen my “Discover” scrapbook page, with my little Ethan, in the December Stampin’ Success Magazine.  See, Ethan has a serious fascination with marine life.  We have been to several Aquariums.  Due to this obsession, we have a 55 gallon freshwater tank with 4 “Green Terror Cichlids” (very aggressive fish from South America).  I am faced with a situation I have never had to deal with.  It seems like some fish have decided to…………..well, there are now eggs on one of the rocks.  One of the males has become EXTREMELY AGGRESSIVE and all I keep thinking about is the movie Nemo (very beginning of the movie).  I have no idea what I am doing lol.  I had to separate this rock from even the parents (the Dad started to eat some of them).  Okay, the last thing I need is baby fishies.  We are going to see what happens so we can educate Ethan, then we will give them to our local fish store.  

Check out what these awesome stampers have created with Beate’s sketch.  You will be amazed for sure:

Cambria Turnbow, Charmaine Ikach, Jenn Balcer, Lori Craig, and Sharon Harnist.

A big Congrats to Cambria as she is launching a NEW STAMPING COMPANY!  Make sure you check out ourcraftlounge.  The images are just so cute.

A new Dirty Dozen Gallery will be visible in the near future over at splitcoaststampers so be on the look out 🙂

Many have inquired on how to make perfect corners with the scallop edge punch.  You can view a tutorial at splitcoaststampers.  The tutorial shows how to make a square.  To make a rectangle, you just change the number of scallops to the sides KWIM.  You can create any size rectangle or square by following the tutorial.

Finally, I have accepted the su! “lead demo” position for my local Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  This is so important to me personally.  I hope that I can bring a smile to a Mothers face and distract her briefly with some therapeutic stamping.  Just brings tears to my eyes.  I don’t think I’m quite ready to work with kids yet, but that is definitely on my list of goals.

whoooooo!  I think that is all I have to share lol.  Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by.


STAMP:  A Happy Heart (Holiday Mini Catalog)

CARDSTOCK:  Very Vanilla, Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Night of Navy.  Urban Garden Designer Series Paper.

INKS:  Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Night of Navy, and Basic Gray.

ACCESSORIES:  Kiwi Kiss/Very Vanilla Satin Ribbon, Build A Brad, Basic Gray Tafetta Ribbon, On Board Lots of Letters Chipboard, 1/2″ Circle Punch, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin’ Dimensionals, Sanding Block.


Beate’s weekend sketch challenge #65 November 7, 2008

Friday means it is time for another one of Beate’s wsc.  I received some new Stampin’ Up! goodies this week and couldn’t resist playing with them.  When I first saw the Home for Christmas stamp set, I knew I had to have it.  I love to watercolor.  If I plan on using this set for my holiday card giving, I need to start very soon as this set has so many cute details (and so many coloring possibilities).


I used many colors to achieve the above look and they are all listed at the bottom of this post.  I used Watercolor paper and an Aqua painter.  I did cut away some of the flake from a Little Felt Flurry so I could layer it on top of another….I wanted to create an even smaller little felt flurry.  Used my Scallop Edge Punch to the right side of the card so it coordinates with the Scallop Circle in the background of the upper left corner.

Hop on over the the sites of these extremely talented stampers to see more creations with Beate’s wsc:

Cambria Turnbow, Charmaine Ikach, Jenn Balcer, Lori Craig, and Sharon Harnist.


STAMPS:  Home for Christmas

CARDSTOCK/PATTERNED PAPERS:  Old Olive and Baja Breeze Cardstock; Watercolor Paper; Ski Slope Designer Series Paper.

INKS:  Stazon Brown; Baja Breeze, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Kiwi Kiss, Riding Hood Red, Sahara Sand, Going Gray, Close to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, and Blush Blossom Classic Stampin’ Pads; Real Red and Old Olive Markers.

ACCESSORIES:  Alpine Ribbon Originals; 1-3/4″ Circle Punch; Coluzzle; Aqua Painter; Sponges; Little Felt Flurries; Scallop Edge Punch; Big Shot die-cut machine; Scallop Circle Bigz Die; Stampin’ Dimensionals; Mini Glue Dots.

Have a wonderful weekend!

I will be absent again for a while as I do have some approaching deadlines.  Seems like I only have time to post for Fridays lately.  I will be able to see my work elsewhere though…I will post details later.


Beate’s weekend sketch challenge #64 (and 63) October 31, 2008

Happy Friday & a big Happy Halloween! 

I feel so guilty when I can’t participate in one of Beate’s wsc.  I made it a high priority this week to get my sample done early.  Needless to say, I finished early with the wrong sketch (last weeks).  After trick-or-treating last night, I got started on the correct sketch…which means I now have two sketch samples to share.

For this weeks sketch, I wanted to create my own background paper to coordinate with the colors I wanted to use.  Here is what I came up with using SU! stamp set “A Beautiful Thing”:

You will definitely need to use your Stamp-a-ma-jig tool if you choose to case.  That was really the only time consuming feature of this card.  Once I finished stamping the flowers on my Whisper White cardstock, the rest of the card was really easy to complete.  The sentiment is from Chateau Bella Rub-ons.  I used some felt flowers to the middle of my stamped flower with a rhinestone brad from the Pretties Kit. 

Here is the card I made for last weeks wsc #63 featuring SU! “Seasonal Whimsy stamp set”:

This is not a card that I would have guests create at a workshop.  It would be displayed along with all my other cards.  Below is a similar card that I did have at a workshop this week for a bunch of my Harrisburg Hospital/Pinnacle Health co-workers that is rather easy (OMW..I had my first male guest at this workshop and he did a fabulous job).

Hope on over to the sites of these very talented ladies to see more samples for Beate’s wsc:

Cambria Turnbow, Charmaine Ikach, Jenn Balcer, Laurie Schmidlin, Lori Craig, and Sharon Harnist.

I will have some special SU! only christmas swaps to post in the near future.  I participated in Jami Sibleys swap.  You can find so many wonderful organized swaps at splitcoaststampers if you are looking to increase your display collection without having to own every single christmas stamp set out there:)

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by.


A Spooktacular Table Setting to share October 19, 2008

Hold on to your seats….  23 ghostly pics and some tasty treats! 

I gave my presentation yesterday to fellow Stampin’ Up! Demos (not sure of the count, but there were “many” at Janet Wakelands Meeting.  I would guess over 100 + guests).  I was only nervous for the first few minutes.  Once I started chatting about what it is I love, it all pretty much was smooth sailing and I was very comfortable sharing my thoughts, ideas, and tips.  I had a wonderful time.  Everyone was so nice. 

My presentation was for the upcoming Halloween holiday.  I showcased a table setting and how you can easily use the ideas for upcoming holidays that are right around the corner.   Other tips:  keep a place setting displayed at one seat in your dining room that way family, guests, and customers can see it; great decoration/display; make the smaller 3-D gifts as Hostess gifts. 


The main place setting is rather simple, but displays on a Pillow Box the name of the guest (created with SU! Write Me a Memory Journaling Fonts CD, Vol. II).  Look how much the Chills & Thrills Rub-ons add to the presentation….and so quick and easy.  Plates & Linen Napkin purchased from Pier 1.

(Substitute with Star Bright DSP Ornaments Kit and either Old Saint Nick or Season of Cheer Rub-ons)

 First, I think this pic is can see me taking the pic in the glass lol.  I always look for this in pics and think it is fun to see things that we aren’t supposed to see.  Again, all I did was added a Rub-on.  I took a hat pin from the Pretties Kit and bent it with pliars (I still can’t find my Crafters’ Tool Kit lol and Ethan won’t give up any clues to where it is hidden).  

 I just love this!  I used 7 pennants created with my Big Shot and Bigz XL Pennant Die.  Think of all the possibilities.  I was thinking that I could possibly create an umbrella for a shower:) 

(substitute with Autumn Vine DSP for Thanksgiving & Ski Slope DSP for Christmas/Winter; Fill centerpiece with paper ornaments) 

Ignore the icing drooping off of the cupcakes.  These cupcakes have been through a lot the past couple days.  They’ve survived traveling, displayed, and pics under lights.  To create the cupcake cups, I used my Bigz XL Baskets & Blooms Die and 3 pieces of Ghostly Greetings DSP measuring 2″ x 4-1/4″.  The height to the cupcake holders will vary depending on the size you need.  Mine are 1-1/4″ high.  I ran all three through my Crimper Tool and adhered them together using Sticky Strip.  There is no base to these…the cupcakes just plop right on into them.  And, they are more than likely going to get tossed after use, so don’t spend too much time worrying about a bottom or other details to them:)

The decorated lollypop sticks in the cupcakes were created with the SCRAPS I had from using the Pennant Die.  I used Batty for You stamp set.  I added dimension to all of the stamped images by cutting and using a Stampin’ Dimensional or Mini Glue Dot.  Used either Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, or Basic Black 1/4″ Grosgrain Ribbon.

The centerpiece is from The White Barn Candle Co.  that I filled with an assortment of candies, added more Rub-ons to the upper rim that states “sweets-treats”, and wrapped some Kiwi Kiss 5/8″ Striped Grosgrain Ribbon around it to hold my tag.  The tag also features a rub-on and stamped candy corn from the Tasty Sweet Stamp set.  I used my Ticket Corner Punch and Horizontal Slot punch.

This was created with the Scallop Envelope Bigz Die box that I’ve been seeing a lot of lately.  I needed to find a way to personalize it with my own style.  I made the outer envelope box and created another box out of Lovely Lilac 12×12 cardstock that was 1/8″ smaller to fit inside.  You have to punch or cut out the top holes before adhering the box together.  I inserted the box upside down into the outer box so it could hold the specimen tubes (martha stewart) filled with yummy M&M’s.  Again, Rub-ons for the sentiment and used Haunting Halloween Stamp set. 

(Substitute candy filled specimen tubes with assorted nuts for the holidays)

This project was created with Acetate and Baskets & Blooms Bigz XL Die.  Cut out various strips of Basic Black cardstock and attach to your assembled basket.  Horizontal strips were created from the Die and I just cut them.  The fence idea was from the Holiday Mini Catalog and the new Frightful Fence Jumbo Wheel (I don’t have it so I compromised and made my own out of cardstock).  Cello Bag filled with candies and closed with Pumpkin Pie Grosgrain and Black Gingham Ribbons.  Linen Thread that holds a little stamped tag.  Stamp set used is Holiday Blitz.  Strips of Old Olive and Kiwi Kiss CS to base to create the grass and hide the basket base:) 


This is a Top Note Treat Box that you may have seen recently in the Artisan Gallery.  This one is a really quick verson (no hand stitching to all the perferations lol).  The Yum stamped horizontal line is from Tasty Sweet Stamp set.  You basically create a box of whatever size you need (paying attention that it must be smaller than the top note die but can be whatever height).  You have to use your Horizontal Slot punch to the top Top Note Die before adhering to box lid and make sure your punched slot is not far in or you will be able to see box lid and ribbon won’t thread through nicely.  Before you can attach box to bottom Top Note Die, you have to run your ribbon between the two.  Use your Sticky Strip all over this on.  Optional step is to add the 1-3/4″ Circle Punch windows to the sides of your box.

This is probably the most ghostly creation of them all.But, it does hold some cupcakes to make it not so haunted after all.  Base made from Basic Gray Cardstock.  Lid made from Ghostly Greetings DSP.  Created a window so you can see what is inside.  Wrapped some 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon and a tag that is the same as the cupcake toppers so it would coordinate.

 (How about making a ski sled instead that holds a cupcake or muffin that you can display on your table or give to neighbors)

Almost done:)  Just a few more to share.  The next series of pics are of my friendly pennant that simply states “treats”.  I used Sticky Cuts Letters and Fine Cosmo Celery Glitter for the letters.



Last but not least… What are you doing with your Punch Box/Bundle tins?   I have quite a few of these and wanted to find a use for them.  Hershey Bars came to mind (any reason to take a trip to Hershey and visit Chocolate World to purchase some “Fresh” candy bars).  This box holds MANY candy bars…More than 40.

So you have a blue tin.  All I did was used a Sharpy marker to all parts that may be visible.  Also, if you sand the patterned paper into the metal material of the tin, the blue comes off and the paper holds better.

How to cut your patterned paper to match up perfectly with the tin details……vellum my friend (or tracing paper).


I’m taking a week off from stamping to spend time with my family.  I gave up going places with them lately so I could make projects and meet deadlines and I’m feeling really bad about that.  All I ask is if you have questions regarding templates, please give me a week before your requests:)  I hope you find inspiration with this long post of pics.  Remember the bold areas and how you can transition these ideas right into the next holiday.

I have to work night shift tonight, so I think I should say goodbye for now and will be back in one week.

Thanks for stopping by.


Beate’s weekend sketch challenge #62 October 17, 2008

I do apologize.  I have been missing in action lately with no real time to post what I’ve been up to (or reply to emails).  I feel like I should explain.  The 6 week Stampin’ Up! Business Boot Camp that I joined ends this week; SCS Fan Club gallery released this past Wednesday; holding workshops; picked up more hours working at the hospital; working on monthly project to submit to Stampin’ Up!; and finally, I have a presentation tomorrow for fellow demos that I’ve been spending a lot of time on.  Sigh!!!  I’m so thankful for my family.  They see me working hard trying to meet deadlines, and they offer help wherever they can:) 

I always look forward to Fridays and Beate’s wsc.  Here is what I came up with for today:

Honestly, took about 20 minutes to make this one.  I think I may post a revision next week with more details/features lol.   Gasp…I even cut the ribbon a little wacky:) at the top.  I’m seeing a lot of black and white cards lately, so I gave it a try with a splash of pink. 

Check out the sites of these amazing stampers for more takes on the sketch:

Cambria Turnbow, Charmaine Ikach, Jenn Balcer, Laurie Schmidlin, Lori Craig, and Sharon Harnist.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a relaxing, wonderful weekend!